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Luca is a 2021 American computer-animated coming-of-age fantasy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios. It is Pixar's 24th feature film. It was released in the United States on June 18, 2021. Originally intended to be released theatrically, it was released direct-to-streaming on Disney+, and theatrically in countries without the streaming service.

The film is directed by Enrico Casarosa, and stars the voices of Jacob Tremblay as Luca Paguro, Jack Dylan Grazer as Alberto Scorfano, Emma Berman as Giulia Marcovaldo, Saverio Raimondo as Ercole Visconti, Maya Rudolph as Daniela Paguro, Marco Barricelli as Massimo Marcovaldo, and Jim Gaffigan as Lorenzo Paguro.

Plot[]

Two fishermen, Giacomo and Tommaso, are out at night trying to catch fish when a strange creature suddenly begins swiping things from their boat. Upon seeing it, they recognize it as a sea monster and try to catch it, but it escapes, much to their dismay.

Luca Paguro is a sea monster who farms goatfish for his family in a hidden area of the ocean. Luca, bored with his simple life, takes notice of a clock and a joker card that he found on the ocean floor. His mother, Daniela, is highly protective of him and warns him of being caught by anyone from the surface, while his father, Lorenzo, is slightly inattentive and distracted. On the other hand, his grandmother openly discusses her adventures on the surface in the past and seems supportive of Luca wanting to get out.

The next day, Luca follows a trail of more human objects until he is cornered by what looks like a deep-sea diver. The diver turns out to be another sea monster named Alberto Scorfano, who had been collecting the items to begin with and taking them back to his hideout on the surface. He forces Luca up to show him what it is like and discovers that he transforms into a human when he hits dry land. Scared but amazed, Luca returns to the ocean. He is confronted by Daniela for being gone for a long time, but Grandma protects Luca by claiming that she sent him out to get sea cucumbers.

Luca soon becomes attracted to going back to the surface, and Alberto eggs him to come up. Luca is mystified at having legs to stand on, and Alberto gives him a quick lesson on walking. Next, Alberto takes him to his hideout, a tall abandoned tower, and shows him all the things he has collected, including a poster for a Vespa, an Italian scooter. Alberto explains that it is a vehicle that can take you anywhere; Luca becomes entranced with the idea of owning one and traveling the world and suggests that they take the junk that he has collected to build one. They spend a couple of hours perfecting it before Luca realizes he needs to return home.

The next day, Luca and Alberto try out their scrap scooter by riding down the island's hill. Luca is forced to hold the ramp while Alberto rides it. Unfortunately, the scooter falls apart, but Alberto is more determined to build a better one, and he and Luca spend the next couple of days collecting and rebuilding Vespas. Meanwhile, Daniela and Lorenzo put together that Luca has been swimming off somewhere and become concerned for him. Eventually, Alberto convinces Luca to ride the hill down with him, but he is too scared. Alberto then informs him that he needs to declare "Silenzio, Bruno!" to encourage himself, and they ride down the hill and off the ramp before crashing into the water. However, the experience livens Luca, and later at night, he witnesses stars for the first time, though Alberto informs him that they are glowing fish that fill the sky. Luca has a wonderful dream of riding his Vespa with Alberto and flying into the sky to see the fish, but it ends with it raining and Luca turning back into a sea monster.

Luca awakens to realize he overstayed his welcome and rushes back home. His parents catch him and reveal that they have found the human objects he has accrued. To teach him a lesson, they plan to send him away to live with Uncle Ugo, Lorenzo's brother, in the deepest depths of the ocean and keep him away from the surface. Ugo, an Angler-like sea monster, is off-putting to Luca, and he escapes his house. He meets back up with Alberto and suggests they get an actual Vespa so that they can run away together. They notice the town of Portorosso nearby towards the shore, and Alberto agrees to take him there to see Signore Vespa and ask for one, despite the abundance of humans there.

Luca and Alberto sneak into town and take in their new surroundings, though it is quickly apparent that they do not know their way around. When a child beckons that they kick a ball back to them, Luca accidentally kicks it at a shiny red Vespa owned by Ercole Visconti, a self-entitled teenager. Ercole rudely insults the two "out-of-towners" and mocks them before trying to shove Luca into the fountain. Luca and Alberto are rescued by a fish delivery girl named Giulia Marcovaldo, who views Ercole as her arch-nemesis. After Ercole is distracted by news of a reward for catching a sea monster, she rides off with them into town and excitedly tells them that as "underdogs," they need to stick together. She explains that she wants to enter the local Portorosso Cup Triathlon to end Ercole's "reign of terror" (she had lost the previous years due to her vomiting during the competition). While Alberto is uninterested in working with her, Luca is intrigued, especially when she mentions that they can win money to potentially buy a cheap Vespa. Luca manages to coerce Alberto into teaming up with Giulia, and she agrees.

Meanwhile, Daniela and Lorenzo, learning that Luca has run away, head to the surface to find him. They immediately run into an issue when they cannot identify where Luca might be, and begin getting all the children wet in an effort to reveal him. The Triathlon segments are swimming, eating, and bike riding. Giulia agrees to do the swimming segment while Alberto does the eating and Luca rides the bike. Giulia helps Luca ride one when it is apparent that he has never ridden before. Afterward, Luca and Alberto claim that they are runaways and simply want to travel the world. Sympathizing with them, Giulia takes them to her home, where they meet her father, Massimo, a giant, one-armed fisherman. Luca and Alberto are frightened of Massimo due to his claim of hunting fish, though his lost arm actually came from birth. While Luca and Alberto hide their fish appearances, the cat Machiavelli catches their true form. Finally, Giulia convinces Massimo to give her the money to enter the competition and allows Luca and Alberto to stay in her treehouse.

In the morning, the kids enter the competition, where they are once again accosted by Ercole and his peons Ciccio and Guido. When Luca gives Giulia words to insult Ercole with, he buckles and encourages them to enter so that he can beat them. Giulia trains to swim while Luca and Alberto watch her. However, Ercole arrives to mess with them and nearly discovers their secret. Luckily, Giulia distracts them enough for them to hide. Alberto is forced to eat various types of pasta to prepare himself. Massimo takes an interest in Alberto and takes him on various fish outings, forming a father-like bond with him. Luca learns to ride the bike better, but he becomes frightened of riding it down upon reaching the top of a hill in town. During this time, Daniela and Lorenzo find Luca, and he becomes paranoid about them catching and bringing him home.

Soon, Luca begins to enjoy hanging out with Giulia, much to Alberto's consternation. As Massimo takes Alberto out for a job, Giulia tells Luca that she only lives with her father during the summer but that for the rest of the year, she goes to live with her mother in Genova and attend school. Upon hearing Luca believing that the stars are fish, she takes him to a telescope, and he sees the stars up close and Saturn, which is Giulia's favorite. Luca begins to read her books and takes an interest in school and learning new things, and Giulia allows Luca to keep her astronomy book. Alberto returns and hears about what Luca learned, which he is unimpressed by. He shows him the Vespa they spotted earlier to remind them of their goal, and tells him that it is difficult for them to fit in as sea monsters. Ercole and his boys attempt to terrorize them, but they manage to outwit them and head back to Giulia's.

After getting to the top of the hill in Portorosso again, Alberto takes control of Luca's bike, and the two of them ride down the hill and crash into the ocean again. Luca chastises Alberto for disrupting their chance at winning and adds that he is thinking of going to school with Giulia. Alberto tells Luca that no one will accept them because of their sea monster origin. When Giulia finds them, Alberto angrily reveals his true self to her. Giulia's screams alert Ercole and his boys, who attempt to capture him. Luca, unwilling to show his true self, pretends to be shocked, as a heartbroken Alberto flees back into the ocean. Massimo, hearing that Alberto is gone, looks for him while Luca tries to convince Giulia to carry on with the Triathlon without him. Giulia tosses water at Luca and learns that he, too, is a sea monster. Scared about what might happen to him, she tells him that he needs to leave, even though she does not want him to.

Luca swims back to the island to find that Alberto had wrecked the place. Upon seeing etches in the wall, he asks him what they are for, to which Alberto reveals to him that his father had left him long ago and never returned. Since then, he had convinced himself that he does not need anyone and tells him to leave him alone. Luca instead tells Alberto that he has inspired him to embrace life and that he will enter the Triathlon by himself and win them the money to buy the Vespa.

On the day of the Triathlon, Luca shows up separately, in a diving suit, for the first challenge, with Giulia representing herself. They swim out into the ocean and manage to make it back. They then enter the eating section, where Giulia quickly teaches Luca to eat with a fork. Both manage to finish and get on their bikes as Ercole rushes to his. Lorenzo and Daniela try to stop Luca, but he avoids them to finish the race. Finally, he makes it to the top of the hill, but it begins to rain, and he hides under an awning. At that moment, Alberto suddenly arrives with an umbrella to help Luca, but Ercole trips him up, revealing his sea monster form. As everyone proceeds to net him, with Ercole grabbing his harpoon, Luca surmises the courage to ride into the rain and rescues Alberto as they ride down the hill.

Ercole chases after the two of them while Giulia catches up to them. As they near the end of the finish line, Giulia crashes her bike into Ercole as Luca and Alberto stop and rush over to help her up. The townsfolk and Ercole surround Luca and Alberto to kill them, but Massimo stops them. Seeing that they were trying to help Giulia, he tells everyone that the "monsters" are Luca and Alberto and defends them. He further points out that they won the race (their bikes made it across the finish line) and thus finally defeated Ercole. Everyone gives up hunting the monsters and accepts them, and Ciccio and Guido turn on Ercole and toss him (and his wool sweater) into the fountain.

Daniela and Lorenzo reveal themselves and happily reunite with Luca, while two elderly women, whom Luca and Alberto had a brief interaction with, also reveal themselves as sea monsters. Finally, Luca, Alberto, and Giulia win the cup and prize money to purchase the Vespa. Everyone gathers at the Marcovaldo house to celebrate, where Grandma Paguro also joins them (she admits to coming to the surface on the weekends). As Luca and Giulia run off together, Alberto begins to rethink his dream of the Vespa.

Giulia prepares to go to Genova now that the summer is over and gets on the train. Alberto shows up to reveal that he sold the Vespa to get Luca a ticket to go as well. He tells him that he has decided to stay in Portorosso and live with Massimo, and that Lorenzo and Daniela made plans for Luca to attend school with Giulia. While saddened that this means he will be separated from his friend, he thanks him and gets on the train just as it rains, once again revealing their true forms. Luca looks out at the ocean and sees the clouds clearing up over the island where he met Alberto, knowing that he will always remember their time together no matter where he is.

During the credits, Luca meets Giulia's mother, an artist who accepts his fish origin. He attends school with her and shows off to the class, much to their astonishment. Alberto has accepted Massimo as a father figure and has quickly befriended the other kids in town while working numerous jobs. Lorenzo, Daniela, and Grandma Paguro have accepted Massimo and Alberto into their family, and vice versa, and are accepted as neighbors in Portorosso. Luca and Giulia use a phone to stay connected to the people in Portorosso.

In a post-credits scene, Uncle Ugo is down in the deep talking to a goatfish about how much he will like it down there with him, apparently unaware that he is not talking to Luca.

Cast[]

Production[]

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